Bradley Cooper & The Oscars
This Sunday is the 87th Academy Awards and Bradley Cooper’s performance in American Sniper is in the crosshairs to take home the golden statue for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
This, however, isn’t Cooper’s first rodeo with Oscar. Hollywood’s newest megastar has been engaged in some heavy flirting with the Academy with his latest string of roles. In fact, this year’s third Oscar nomination in three consecutive years puts him in exclusive company with only a handful of others who’ve accomplished the feat including Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Spencer Tracy and Gregory Peck.
Two years ago he was nominated for his role in Silver Linings Playbook. Last year it was his part in American Hustle. Both times saw someone else take home the hardware. Is the third time the charm?
You may not know that this is a guy who began his trade with James Lipton of Inside the Actors Studio fame at Pace University in New York City. There’s even video of student Bradley Cooper asking a question to visiting guest Robert De Niro. Who knew that Cooper would later go on to share the camera with De Niro in Playbook and Limitless? It’s really quite unbelievable.
We were first introduced to Cooper as the colossal prick, Sack Lodge, in Wedding Crashers. We probably should have known that he would go on to bigger and better things because his performance as the unlikeable, arrogant bane of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s existence was undeniably effective.
Then in 2009, Cooper hit the motherload with The Hangover. His role as a handsome, funny, sarcastic deviant flanked by Zack Galifianakis and Ed Helms in the comedy that grossed half a billion dollars worldwide put him squarely on the map. From there, it just continued to get better for the Philadelphia, PA native.
Fast forward to this coming Sunday where Cooper is being celebrated for his depiction of Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood’s true story about the late Navy SEAL sniper. The film that’s grossed nearly $300 million at the box office to date has seen Cooper up the ante in both his acting and his preparation. He gained 40 pounds of muscle for the role, yet another parallel to De Niro who himself gained 60 pounds as Jake La Motta in Raging Bull back in 1980.
So who is Cooper’s competition for the award?
Steve Carell for Foxcatcher. Michael Keaton for Birdman. Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game.
Regardless of the outcome, Bradley Cooper continues to ascend and if you’re wondering if he can keep the Oscar nomination streak going to four straight years, 2015 has him starring in a presently untitled film by director John Wells along with another project with Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray called Aloha.
It sounds like paradise to us.
– Kevin Marr